From today's UK papers

January 25, 2001


Universities will face a staff shortage crisis within four years unless pay improves, Sir Michael Bett, author of the authoritative report on academic salaries, has warned MPs.

The European Commission will announce the award of a grant of €2.3m (£1.5m) to a group led by IBM, the computer company, to pursue its research into ways to speed up software development.


Duncan Steel, from the University of Salford, writes that if scientists find a thriving sea under the icy crust of Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, it will be the closest thing to Darwin's idea of the warm little pond.


Lucy Hodges writes that girls are now obtaining more first-class degrees than boys and asks: are they just more single-minded, or do boys suffer from a laddish culture that holds them back?


Scientists at the University of Wisconsin in Madison have mapped all the genes in a deadly type of E.coli, a common cause of food poisoning that strikes hundreds of thousands of people each year. ( FT , Times )

Dire Straits have become true rock 'n' roll dinosaurs: a newly discovered species of two-legged predator has been named after Mark Knopfler, the band's lead guitarist and singer. ( Guardian , Independent , Daily Telegraph , Times )

Susan Greenfield, professor of pharmacology at Oxford University and director of the Royal Institution, writes that the public distrust scientists as much as politicians, perceiving them as remote nerds. ( Independent , Times )

If you want to be a millionaire by getting the questions right in a television game show,  avoid sipping glasses of water nervously. Psychologists at the University of Bristol believe that drinking at the wrong moment can damage your mental performance. ( Independent , Daily Mail , Daily Telegraph , Times, from the New Scientist )

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